Community Garden Information – How To Start A Community Garden

Image by d-olwen-dee

By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener

If you don’t have space in your landscape for a garden, perhaps you have a community garden in your area or are interested in starting one. Due to rising food costs, a greater understanding and appreciation for sustainable living and organic produce, community gardens are springing up all over the country. Community gardens have many benefits too. Keep reading for more community garden information and what to plant in a community garden plot.

What is a Community Garden?

A community garden is a joint effort amongst interested parties to create a green space where all people involved share part of the upkeep and garden rewards. Many different groups of people may come together to form such a garden including homeowner associations, religious organizations, social service organizations, gardening clubs, corporations and neighborhood groups, to name a few.

Most community gardens are designed for growing food, vegetables and fruits. Community vegetable gardens may be in individual or family plots and often support food banks, church missions or shelters. Some gardens are based on a fee structure where you rent a garden space and manage your own plot.

How to Start a Community Garden


The first step in starting a shared, or community, garden involves gathering like-minded people together. If you are just getting started, you may want to call an informational and organizational meeting inviting people to learn more about creating community gardens.

Once you have an interested group put together, you will need to make some decisions about where the garden should be located, how planning, membership and management will take place and assess the financial needs so that fundraising can take place if needed.

It is important to spend enough time at the planning stage so that things go smoothly once the garden is up and operating. The best approach is to form a board and even a site coordinator if your garden is large.

If you require community garden information to get things rolling, think about visiting an existing garden or consulting your local Cooperative Extension Office where they are often willing to provide support and information.

What to Plant in a Community Garden Plot

Once the garden is created, you can plant anything you desire in your community garden. Obviously, you should choose plant varieties that do best in your selected region. If you have individual and family plots in your garden versus one big garden, you may need to set some restrictions on what is grown. For example, you would not want someone planting mint that might take over the entire garden. Be sure to set you guidelines on what is permissible in your membership rules so that you don’t run into any problems.

A community garden can be a very rewarding project but is one that takes excellent organization and management in order to reach its full potential.

Print This Article
This article was last updated on
Did you find this helpful?
Share it with your friends!

Additional Help & Information

Didn't find the answer to your question? Ask one of our friendly gardening experts.

Do you know anything about gardening? Help answer someone's gardening question.

Read more articles about Urban Gardens.

Search for more information

Use the search box below to find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: